Stability in the Home

When couples are experiencing conflict between the two of them they often wonder about how to create a sense of stability in the home while they sort our their differences. When we return to a home that feels unsafe – whether physically, emotionally, or both – we are less likely to engage in resolution. Kids are often in the mix as well and parents are interested in making sure they feel safe despite problems in the marriage. 

Conflict happens. It’s unavoidable in a relationship between two humans with their own thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. Finding a stable way of engaging in conflict can be a game changer. Here are some ways to make sure your conflict stays in check. 

  1. 1. Do No Harm – as you search for resolution pledge to refrain from verbally or physically harming each other intentionally. There will be times that our words hurt each other, but there is a difference between saying something that is hard to hear and intentionally letting words fly below the belt. 

    2. Realize That You’re Part of the Problem – no one is 100% innocent. What was done to you may be way worse than what you have done but owning your part of the problem (and no more) will do wonders. 

    3. Treat Each Other with Respect – whether it’s in front of the kids, around friends, or just between the two of you, there is a way to communicate our concerns in a respectful way. Your spouse may not be acting in a way that you think deserves respect but there is some respect we all deserve as humans despite our behavior. Plus, it’s more difficult to yell at a person who is talking in a calm, cool, collected manner. 

Give these tips a try during your next argument and make sure to note the differences you experience.


STOP - How to Pump the Breaks:

Ever feel like you go from 0 to 100 in no time flat? This can happen in an instant as anxiety, anger, and impulsivity take the wheel. We strive for emotional regulation and control, but sometimes it gets away from us. Feel like you need to STOP? Here's a technique that can help you pump the breaks. 

S - STOP, literally. A mind and body action of cessation. 

T - Take a deep breath and Take a step back. 

O - Observe the situation, the environment, and yourself. What are your thoughts and feelings?

P - Proceed mindfully. Let your next steps, actions, and words be purposeful.


Good Communication Starts with 5 Simple Things

Do you want to have better communication with the people in your life? The ability to communicate is an essential skill in today's world. Good communication is key to all relationships and it starts with 5 simple things:


1.  Listen to learn; not to judge 

Avoid criticism, name calling and diagnosing.

2.  Pay attention to the person speaking

Look at the person speaking and put away electronic devices.  

3.  Use language relevant to the person you are speaking to

Avoid technical terms that are not relevant to the person

4.  Only offer advice when asked

Some people would like to come to a solution on their own.

5. Address the concerns of the speaker

Take the person's concerns into account.


Another important aspect of good communication is body language. Facial expressions, gestures and posture speak volumes. Nonverbal cues can be just as important as verbal expression. If you want better communication, go ahead and try these 5 simple things!


Recognizing and Negotiating Conflict

Problems and conflict are part of life - they are natural and inevitable. Conflict does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. When conflict occurs, the relationship may be weakened or strengthened.Not being able to recognize and address conflict can leave you feeling angry, upset, misunderstood or helpless. However, if the conflict is handled well, it can be productive - allowing both people to feel respected and validated. 


Healthy ways to recognize and negotiate conflict

  • Conflict must be viewed as a problem that can be solved mutually - finding a solution that is acceptable to both. 

  • Each person must participate actively in the resolution and make an effort and commitment to find answers which are as fair as possible.

  • Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or being right. 

  • Ues effective communication techniques- Use "I" statements, use empathy, and practice active listening

  • Focus on the situation rather than the person- don't attack

  • Ask questions using exploration rather than domination- Try asking open-ended question that provokes communication 

  • Be respectful

  • Brainstorm possible solutions together


Conflict is hard, but these are healthy ways to communicate and negotiate conflict. Remember conflict happens and it can be productive if handled with care.


A Reminder About Love

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the topic of love is in the air. Heart shaped boxes filled with chocolate and cards with “Love” scrolled across the front are everywhere. We’re reminded to tell that special someone in our life just how we feel about them and to spread Valentine’s to all our loved ones.


I love the idea of taking time to be intentional with letting those around know exactly how we feel and to take time to verbalize our gratitudes and appreciations of them. However; at times, I think we forget that self-love is just as important as the love we show to those around us. Sometimes, it’s easier to focus on saying and doing for others. When is the last time you told yourself that you loved you? Or that you are grateful for and appreciate something in yourself? It can be difficult to both give and receive love from others when we aren’t loving our own self well. 


This Valentine’s Day season, make sure you set aside some time to think about and take action towards loving yourself well. Start with just one committed action. What is one thing you could do today to love yourself? It may be a bubble bath, allowing yourself some time to read, or going to bed early for the first time in days. Whatever it is, include in that time some loving self-talk. Let yourself know some things you’re grateful for, and remind yourself that you deserve to be loved!


What’s your act of self-love going to be? What are you grateful of in yourself right this moment?